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Old 12-28-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
nd43
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Character breakfast food quality

Ok, I have a small rant. I guess I am becoming a food snob. However, when you stay at deluxe hotels I think there should be a minimum expectation for food quality. Every time we attend a character breakfast, to me, the food is just terrible. Bad carton eggs, cold buffet items (that should be hot), and really sad options overall. The cold, hard tater tots are one of the best things they have and they are not very good tater tots by even home standards. The fact you have to highlight "tater tots" at a deluxe hotel says a lot.

I realize Disney must think with Mickey walking around the tables they could serve just about anything and fill the room but that is just sad to me.

There are times I look at Disney and think there must be someone somewhat embarrassed by what they serve at these things. I mean the same hotel that has Victoria and Alberts is serving rock hard tater tots and terrible carton eggs and charging an arm and leg for it. Yikes.

Ok, rant over. We are still having a great time at VGF! We just really like this DVC setup and hotel. We went to AKL for dinner at Jiko last night and thought that was also a fantastic experience and a great hotel. Dinners have been great this trip.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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Although not at a resort, we ate breakfast at Tusker House in AK last trip and thought it was really good. I totally agree with you on the quality of food at many of the buffets, but this seemed a step above. And great character interaction as well. If we want a character breakfast again, this will be the one for us!
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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I always enjoy the food at Crystal Palace as well, and feel the atmosphere is not as frenetic as other venues such as Chef Mickey's. While we haven't eaten there in years, we have also had great breakfasts at Cape May Buffet.

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd43 View Post
Ok, I have a small rant. I guess I am becoming a food snob. However, when you stay at deluxe hotels I think there should be a minimum expectation for food quality. Every time we attend a character breakfast, to me, the food is just terrible. Bad carton eggs, cold buffet items (that should be hot), and really sad options overall. The cold, hard tater tots are one of the best things they have and they are not very good tater tots by even home standards. The fact you have to highlight "tater tots" at a deluxe hotel says a lot.

I realize Disney must think with Mickey walking around the tables they could serve just about anything and fill the room but that is just sad to me.

There are times I look at Disney and think there must be someone somewhat embarrassed by what they serve at these things. I mean the same hotel that has Victoria and Alberts is serving rock hard tater tots and terrible carton eggs and charging an arm and leg for it. Yikes.

Ok, rant over. We are still having a great time at VGF! We just really like this DVC setup and hotel. We went to AKL for dinner at Jiko last night and thought that was also a fantastic experience and a great hotel. Dinners have been great this trip.
The quality of food at WDW has gone progressively downhill for the past 10 years or so, yet prices continue to rise. This seems to be an ongoing problem. We have long since stopped doing character meals and table service unless we have new folks with us. If that's the case, we'll usually do it once.

There are lots of great places to eat in Orlando. Disney is no longer one of them. It actually used to be, ironically.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Honestly, having done a lot of character meals the food quality really varies and it varies between one trip and the next. I assume you are talking about 1900 Park Fare, which for me has been an uneven character breakfast experience in terms of quality. I find the food at character meals tends to be lower quality during busier times of the year. I tend to like Norway for lunch. A good way to meet Princesses and the food is decent. We're trying Hollywood and Vine in February to take advantage of Sofia and Doc joining the lineup. I admit at this point, I'd rather pay money than wait in line 1 hr to meet Sofia and then need to do another long line for Jake and Doc.

I won't go back to Crystal Palace after they kept us waiting 30 minutes past our ADR and took other groups the same size as ours with a later ADR than ours first. They also didn't mark which sides contained meat and I ended up spending the evening in a bathroom, unwell.

Though TBH my opinion of all WDW character meals was raised by eating Minnie's Breakfast in the Plaza in Disneyland. It was quite possibly the worst meal I have ever had. It made McDonald's look like Victoria's and Albert's. It didn't help the plates and cups were disposable. The only redeeming quality of the meal was after complaining to a hostess about getting skipped by characters we met around 10+ characters.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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I totally agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilsonFlyer View Post
The quality of food at WDW has gone progressively downhill for the past 10 years or so, yet prices continue to rise. This seems to be an ongoing problem. We have long since stopped doing character meals and table service unless we have new folks with us. If that's the case, we'll usually do it once.

There are lots of great places to eat in Orlando. Disney is no longer one of them. It actually used to be, ironically.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
stevelee
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i have only ever done chracter breakfast at chef mickey's and Tusker house. We found tusker house to be much much better.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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The standard of measure for me has always been, "If I were paying $xxx for this somewhere else, would I pay the same to eat here again?"

The answer used to be "Yes" to many of the restaurants at WDW. Now, not so much.

$50-$60 adult buffets that are so-so at best just ain't my cup of tea, not when I can feed my entire family 1 mile away out on 192 for the same as 1 adult (or less). (We usually stay at AK.)
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd43 View Post
Ok, I have a small rant. I guess I am becoming a food snob. However, when you stay at deluxe hotels I think there should be a minimum expectation for food quality. Every time we attend a character breakfast, to me, the food is just terrible. Bad carton eggs, cold buffet items (that should be hot), and really sad options overall. The cold, hard tater tots are one of the best things they have and they are not very good tater tots by even home standards. The fact you have to highlight "tater tots" at a deluxe hotel says a lot.

I realize Disney must think with Mickey walking around the tables they could serve just about anything and fill the room but that is just sad to me.

There are times I look at Disney and think there must be someone somewhat embarrassed by what they serve at these things. I mean the same hotel that has Victoria and Alberts is serving rock hard tater tots and terrible carton eggs and charging an arm and leg for it. Yikes.

Ok, rant over. We are still having a great time at VGF! We just really like this DVC setup and hotel. We went to AKL for dinner at Jiko last night and thought that was also a fantastic experience and a great hotel. Dinners have been great this trip.
I think that has become exactly the problem and we just refuse to contribute to its continuance anymore. If more people did the same, it may actually start to matter. Unfortunately, with all the first-timers there every day bound and determined to contribute to the madness, it will likely never end. Or ever be like it used to be again.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Crystal Palace and Tusker House breakfasts are worth it for us. However, Chef Mickey's, Park Fare and Cape May we will never to again.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilsonFlyer View Post
The standard of measure for me has always been, "If I were paying $xxx for this somewhere else, would I pay the same to eat here again?"

The answer used to be "Yes" to many of the restaurants at WDW. Now, not so much.

$50-$60 adult buffets that are so-so at best just ain't my cup of tea, not when I can feed my entire family 1 mile away out on 192 for the same as 1 adult (or less). (We usually stay at AK.)
This is why I cook in our villa. I am not making gourmet meals, but the food is much better than what we were getting in the parks at a fraction of the costs. DH and I save our "dining out" budget for the restaurants at home where I know the meal will be worth the $$$. And we are able to then eat out without the kids.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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We are cooking in our villa a lot too. I am really excited about our upcoming trip. Planning apps on the balcony too. We save a fortune on breakfast and snacks alone. The kids enjoy the relaxed at home meals too. Disney dining just doesn't hold much appeal any more.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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Sadly greed is what drives business today, not customer satisfaction. Disney's business model is to process as many people as possible, their investment in the NextGen project is proof.

If they can cut food quality, size, and service and still have a waiting list of people trying to get in, they have zero reason to improve the customer experience.

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Old 12-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilsonFlyer View Post
The standard of measure for me has always been, "If I were paying $xxx for this somewhere else, would I pay the same to eat here again?"

The answer used to be "Yes" to many of the restaurants at WDW. Now, not so much.

$50-$60 adult buffets that are so-so at best just ain't my cup of tea, not when I can feed my entire family 1 mile away out on 192 for the same as 1 adult (or less). (We usually stay at AK.)
I'm willing to pay a premium based on location, but for me it needs to be a REASONABLE premium. A $7 hot dog at the ball park isn't happening any more than a $30 breakfast buffet with bad scrambled eggs in a warmer. And I'm willing to pay something for entertainment during my meal - the ability to see Minnie Mouse at breakfast is worth something - much LESS now that my kids are teenagers and Minnie Mouse is down on our list.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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I'm willing to pay a premium based on location, but for me it needs to be a REASONABLE premium. A $7 hot dog at the ball park isn't happening any more than a $30 breakfast buffet with bad scrambled eggs in a warmer.
A $7 hot dog (accompanied by a $10-$12 beer) is REQUIRED at the ballpark. It has nothing to do with food -- it's all about baseball.

If you're lucky, it will be a pretty good hot dog. If not, it's just tradition.
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